"Concerned with the General Welfare of the Deaf of Iowa"

Helen (Craig) Gilliland

May 29, 1930--May 23, 2019

Helen Waive Gilliland, age 88, the daughter of Percy Edward and Minnie Ethel (Bennett) Craig, was born May 29, 1930, at Davis City, Iowa. She died at the Clearview Nursing Home in Mt. Ayr, Iowa on Thursday, May 23, 2019.

Helen was born deaf but she never let it slow her down. Her mother died in 1935, when she was five years old. Zula Downey helped the family and got her enrolled in school at the School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs, Iowa. While there she enjoyed playing basketball and swimming.

Helen married Paul Edward “Chick” Gilliland on May 18, 1952, in Davis City. They were blessed with five children, Beverly, Zula, Michael, Robert, and Tina. Helen could read lips and was able to communicate with everyone. She worked at O’Bryan Brothers in Leon for over 25 years. She was a great mom and a good cook. She always worried about her kids having jobs and being able to provide for their own families. She especially loved those grandbabies. 

In her free time she enjoyed traveling to go fishing, square dancing, cross-stitching, and crocheting. She was a member of Eastern Star in Davis City and on a bowling league for a time.

Preceding her in death were her parents; stepmother, Gertie Craig; husband, Chick Gilliland in 1982; infant son, Michael; and brothers, Basil, Willard, Emmett, John, Neil, and infants, Cletus and Roe Craig. Survivors include her children and their spouses, Bev and Larry Reeves of Indianola, Iowa, Zula and Gary Patterson of Davis City, Robbie and Monna Gilliland of St. Joseph, Missouri, and Tina Townsend of San Bernardino, California; grandchildren, Stephanie, Anthony, Megan, Jennifer & Jason, Donnie & Jamie, Lucas & Jessie, Jesse & Kayla, Tara, and Haley & Ivan; step grandson, Craig & Lesa; 15 great grandchildren, four great, great grandchildren, sister, Berniece Hoffman of Mt. Ayr, Iowa; sister-in-law, Liz Beaty of Lamoni, Iowa; nieces and nephews; lifelong best friend, Norma Becker of Grand River, Iowa; and other relatives and friends.

Funeral services was held at the Slade – O’Donnell Funeral Home in Leon, Iowa at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 29, 2019, Helen’s 89th birthday. Burial would be in the Davis City Cemetery, Davis City, Iowa.

 Thanks to Slade-O’Donnell Funeral Home, Leon, Iowa and Marlene Kautzky for the information.


Updated June 30, 2019